In 2007, New Orleans had the second-highest AIDS infection rate among metropolitan areas in the country. Although a surprisingly small percentage (32 percent) of African-Americans make up the population in Louisiana, we account for most of the new HIV cases (72 percent) and new AIDS diagnosis (70 percent) recorded in the state in 2008, according to NOLA.com.
A Kaiser Family Foundation 2009 survey showed a decline in concern about HIV infection among young African-Americans. The number of African-Americans ages 18 to 29 saying they are personally "very concerned" about becoming infected fell from 47 percent in May 2004 to 40 percent in March 2009. Risky behavior such as drug abuse and unprotected sex are cited as some of the reasons for the alarming increases as well as the cultural stigma attached to homosexuality, which is prevalent in the African-American community.